Its safe to say i have had my fair share of long flights over the past two years, travelling back and forth from London a total of 7 times.
The long flight never seems to get better but the jet lag does. I use to say there was no hidden tricks to beating jet lag but the more i travel, the more i realise, there is.
First and foremost, the basic survival tip for beating jet lag is the most obvious. Sleep and water. After a long flight, that nasty feeling that follows is a combination of dehydration and exhaustion.
1. Time your flight
My last trip to London was by far the best trip when it came to jet lag. The reason being, i arrived in London and back in Australia in the evening. Timing your flight will allow you to get in sync with the new time zone and sleep naturally, at night, like you naturally would. Arriving in the morning presents you with the extremely difficult task of staying awake all day, or on the contrary, falling asleep and staying out of sync. When booking your flight, try to time it so that you’re arriving at your destination with enough time to collect your bags, get home, shower and then sleep.
2. Steer clear of caffeine/alcohol
i know, for all you coffee addicts its almost impossible to steer clear of caffeine for an entire 24hours but believe me, it is an enormous help to your system. By avoiding soft drinks, coffee and alcohol your body has a better chance of recovering and staying hydrated throughout your flight.
3. Invest in a good travel pillow, ear plugs and eye mask.
Despite the fact that most airlines provide you with a travel pillow, i have come to the conclusion: one pillow is simply not enough. Finding a comfortable position on the plane can be near to impossible, especially when you have the belts and arm rests sticking into you. Having one pillow as a back support/barrier for annoying contraptions and another pillow as your head rest will guarantee you a better sleep on your long flight. Adding ear plugs and a good eye mask to your sleep routine will also block out any other distractions and keep you asleep for longer. #worthit
4. Swap your sleeping pills for melatonin
During one of my recent trips, a group of us were discussing sleeping pills. Should you use them on a flight? How strong should the dose be and when should you take them?. I’ve only ever used sleeping pills a few times and while they worked a treat and knocking me out, i always seemed to wake up groggy and found it difficult to readjust. One of the flight attendants overheard our conversation and said she swore by Melatonin. Melatonin is a Melatonin is a hormone that is made by the pineal gland in the brain and can be taken as a supplement to prepare your body for sleep. Considering she travels for a living and has to sleep in multiple time zones per week, i took her advice and looked it up.
5. Choose a timezone
One of the worst parts of travel is the multiple time zones. I like to choose a time zone and stick to it during my flight, eating, napping and watching movies accordingly. I try to keep my body use to a routine and ritual regardless of being miles above the ground. For my last trip, i stuck to London time zone (regardless of the fact that i was leaving from Australia). When i boarded my plane at 6am Australia time, i figured it was time for a meal (dinner) a movie and then bed (based on the fact it was 7pm in London). I pulled down my eye mask and slept as much as i could over the next 9hours. By the time i arrived in Dubai and boarded my second plane, it was 9am in London and time for another meal (breakfast) a few more movies and maybe a little nap.
Are you an expert with jet lag? What are your top tips for beating the dreaded exhaustion that follows a long plane ride?